Diary

Dallas, We Have A Problem. Or Maybe It's Just an Anomoly?

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Later today the CDC will advise whether Patient #1 does indeed have Ebola. In case you missed it, a nurse using full protective equipment while treating Patient Zero aka as Mr. Duncan that died last week, tested positive for Ebola based upon a test performed in Austin. The CDC will do a test in Atlanta to confirm or refute the results.

She was self-monitoring herself and upon getting a fever Friday night, admitted herself to the Texas Presbyterian Hospital where she worked to save Mr. Duncan. Luckily, it only took a total of 90 minutes from the time she discovered she had a fever to being admitted into the hospital. Decontamination crews already had cleaned her car, the parking lot and rails, etc. along her path before daybreak. They will clean her apartment later today.

The CDC Director, Dr. Freidan, held another press conference and appeared on a couple of Sunday shows. He was adamant that a “breach in protocol” was the cause for her catching the virus. Yet in the same presser, he said that he didn’t know how many healthcare workers were in the low-risk pool of which this nurse was among. Not very comforting if you ask me (my emphasis below).

The worker, Friedan said, dealt with Duncan “on multiple occasions after his diagnosis.”

“Clearly there was a breach in protocol. We have the ability to prevent the spread of Ebola by caring safely for patients,” he told CBS host Bob Schieffer in an interview airing later this morning. “We know from many years of experience that it’s possible to care for patients with Ebola safely without risk to healthcare workers but we also know that it’s hard and that even a single breach can result in contamination.”

Taking off contaminated gear can be tricky, he noted. Investigators will look closely at Duncan’s treatment, including dialysis and intubation. “These are two procedures which can result in the spread of infectious material,” he said.

Frieden had no detail on how many health care workers are being monitored now.

“Our team is intensively working with the hospital on both understanding what happened and to find other healthcare workers who may be at risk and also making sure that protocols are followed in the care of this individual,” he said.

We should be able to trust the CDC but even Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation didn’t quite seem to when he asked why they were being so “secretive” and not telling us all the facts. Dr. Freidan was clearly surprised at the statement and denied the charge. (see the 4:45 mark here of the entire interview).

Obviously this case must be examined thoroughly to understand exactly how this nurse contracted the virus. What we don’t need is for the CDC or the NIH to come to a predetermined cause before the analysis:

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease doctor at the National Institutes of Health, echoed Frieden’s view about a breach in protocol. He appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“The protocols are there. One of the things we need to do is reemphasize the importance,” Fauci told NBC host Chuck Todd.

Fauci said he expects the CDC investigation to show that it was an “inadvertent breach” – the sort of thing that can happen when a health worker is fatigue and does something like wipe her hand across her face during the decontamination procedure.

He emphasized that procedures to isolate Ebola patients and trace their contacts will protect the broader public. “We won’t have a public outbreak,” he said.

I’m seeing a breach in the CDC’s protocol of contact tracing. Last week we had the scare that a Dallas Deputy Sheriff that was forced to issue a containment warrant may have Ebola. Luckily he didn’t test positive. But he was just one of five Sheriff’s that entered the apartment where Duncan fell ill, plus two others from the health department, without any protective gear.

Here’s the scary part of the story. The Sheriff wasn’t one of the 48 or so direct links to Mr. Duncan! And he was only one of seven to enter the apartment that day. That’s epic fail on the part of the CDC that has continuously told us that tracing is the way to stop an epidemic on our soil. Supposedly they know how to trace and track individuals to stop it in its tracks. And neither was this nurse.

Dr. Freidan explained that the initial list of 48 were contacts prior to his hospital admittance on 9/28 (it’s on the 2 minute mark on the video link above). He incredibly said that the CDC now considers all of the health workers that cared for the index patient (Duncan) to be potentially exposed and will compile that as a new list of people to monitor. Why wasn’t that done already?

Meanwhile, the team of the NBC camera man that has Ebola was supposed to self-quarantine. It seems the woman doctor, Nancy Snyderman, couldn’t contain herself and was seen out and about and she and the team are now if mandatory quarantine in NJ. The CDC trusted them and found out the hard way that they couldn’t be trusted. But we’re to trust the CDC that made the deal?

So I ask, what is the CDC not telling us? Is what they are telling us the truth? They have repeatedly said that the only way to get Ebola is from direct contact with bodily fluids. So how, pray tell, are so many getting it when they followed the CDC’s guidelines?

Over 300 healthcare workers in Africa have died after knowing the risk and taking the necessary precautions. Supposedly the NBC camera man got it from washing a car when he knew the risks after filming the death around him. And the nurse in Spain that contracted the virus from the Priest had only been in the same room with  him two times in full hazmat gear according to that hospital. Were all these cases and this nurse in Dallas a breach of protocol?

To hear Bill O’Reilly, a squishy guy on Conservative topics, also stated that the government isn’t being upfront with us, plus the doctor entering ATL with a hazmat suit adorned with the CDC is Lying, is quite discomforting to say the least.

The CDC finally announced they would take the temperature at 5 airports that receive the majority of people entering from the affected African nations. Only JFK started yesterday and the other four will start next week. So the CDC was prepared months ago and is just now implementing basic precautions to stem the tide? Honestly it seems like a purely cosmetic reaction to me.

Did someone finally convince the all-knowing reluctant president that this is the necessary minimum strategy to fight Ebola since he won’t ban incoming flights or deny Visas?

This won’t end well if the president and his political cohorts won’t face reality and call the threat what it is; an uncontrollable, easily spreadable disease that requires more than press conferences and words to defeat.

Dallas, TX is City Zero with Patient Zero and now has Patient One, the first known case transmitted within the United States. How many more numbered patients will we have before incoming flights from that region are banned? It’s common sense to most Americas. After all the precautions and words to calm us, I don’t feel very calm as City Zero happens to be my hometown.